Declare winner of presidential poll based on collated results from
Amid raging controversies surrounding the conduct of the just-concluded Presidential/National Assembly Elections, a Coalition of Civil Society Organisations under the aegis of Democracy Protection Coalition (DPM) has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to collate and declare the results by the summation of polling unit results from each of the polling units across the country, saying these results were already within the purview of the Commission and the political parties.
Convener of the group, Eze Eluchie, Esq., who is also the Executive Director of PADDI Foundation, made this call on Thursday in Lagos at a press conference tagged: “Observations and Recommendations on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Presidential and National Assembly Elections held 25th February 2023,” saying that the call became imperative in the light of INEC’s claim of alleged ‘collapse’, compromise and failure of the BVAS machine process and systems in the course of the said poll exercise.
This was just as the coalition demanded that the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, “should forthwith recuse himself from participating in any manner whatsoever, in the processes and administration of the forthcoming Gubernatorial and State Houses of Assembly elections.”
Eluchie said the INEC boss should do this because people’s confidence, trust and belief in the electoral system and electoral umpires as an integral component of elections, have been irrevocably eroded.
The Convener, who noted that the undertakings severally made by the INEC chairman and officials before the last elections and the reality that the said polls were devoid of the promised advancements in electronic and technological processes, made it clear that “the INEC leadership had perfected a plot to hoodwink and deceive Nigerians and the International Election Observer Missions and others interested in the transition and democratization process in Nigeria, that a foolproof electoral system had been put in place, whilst in reality, the leadership of INEC had mapped out crude and most audacious plans for the disenfranchisement of millions of Nigerians and a scheme that would ensure that the votes cast are not only not counted but disregarded.”
According to him, the long-term effect of the electoral heist perpetuated by the Yakubu-led INEC on Nigerians on 25th February 2023, if not addressed as a matter of national emergency, include entrenchment of voter apathy, saying that many Nigerians now believed that their votes do not count, while some others were already destroying their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs), among others.
Speaking further, DPM Convener, Eluchi, applauded the various domestic, regional and international election observers for rightly stating that the 25th February elections fell far, far short of domestic and international standards, and even the standards INEC had set for itself, just as he enjoined all friends of Nigeria to be on the side of the Nigerian people by impressing on the electoral Umpire and state authorities, the importance of allowing the will of the people freely expressed via the ballot box, to be upheld.
“The people of Nigeria must come together, as we all did on the 25th of February 2023, devoid of ethnic, religious and other primordial sentiments, to decisively insist on the actualization of the mandate given via the ballot during the Presidential Elections.
“We must all in unison insist that the votes cast during the said elections are declared as counted at the various Polling Units and that the winner of the said elections is rightly declared as the President-elect of the Federal Republic,” he said.
Also in attendance at the conference were Chief Martin Onovo of Strategic Union of Professionals for the Advancement (SUPA) Nigeria, Elijah Ajanu- Ojo (Ideal Society Movement) Gaius N. Aliam (Movement for Fundamental Change), among others.
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